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August 2019

Vol. 24, No.31 Week of August 04, 2019

ANS production down 5% from May; Milne production up 12% for June

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

Alaska North Slope production averaged 489,144 barrels per day in June, down 4.8% from an average of 513,740 bpd in May, but up 2.5% from a June 2018 average of 477,364 bpd, with the largest month-over-month and year-over-year volume increase at Hilcorp Alaska’s Milne Point.

ANS crude oil volume averaged 441,437 bpd, 90.25% of total production; the remaining 9.75% was natural gas liquids, which averaged 47,706 bpd. The crude average was down 19,235 bpd, 4.2%, from a May average of 460,672, and up 1.3% from a June 2018 average of 435,784 bpd. The NGL average was down 5,362 bpd, 10.1%, from a May average of 53,068, and up 14.7% from a June 2018 average of 41,578 bpd.

Production data reported here is from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which provides volumes by field and well on a month-delay basis.

Summer maintenance

Summer maintenance turnarounds on the Slope and on the trans-Alaska oil pipeline impact production volumes.

Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., operator of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, has completed two short-duration shutdowns, 12 hours each (May 17 and June 7), and one major maintenance shutdown (June 22), 18 hours, the company said in a July 29 email. Two more shutdowns are scheduled for August - a short duration, 18-hour, shutdown Aug. 2 and a major maintenance shutdown, 36 hours, Aug. 24-25.

ConocoPhillips Alaska has annual scheduled maintenance beginning in August, company spokeswoman Natalie Lowman told Petroleum News in a July 29 email. Maintenance activity will begin about Aug. 9 at Kuparuk’s Central Processing Facility No. 3 and will include various inspections, repairs and safety tests. Western North Slope maintenance work will also begin Aug. 9, Lowman said, with preventive maintenance and repairs at the Alpine Central Facility. During the shutdown, Conoco will also complete tie-ins at the ACF for the Greater Mooses Tooth 2 project, and tie-ins at the CD2 drill site to accommodate the new extended reach drilling rig.

BP has normal maintenance planned at Prudhoe Bay this summer, over the June to September period, BP Exploration (Alaska) spokeswoman Megan Baldino said in a July 31 email. She said work is “focused on piping replacements, facility maintenance and other improvement projects.” The work, she said, “is part of BP’s ongoing commitment to safe and compliant operations in Alaska.”

Largest drops at Prudhoe, Point Thomson

Prudhoe Bay and Point Thomson had the largest month-over-month per-barrel and percentage drops, respectively.

The largest per-barrel drop was at the BP Exploration (Alaska)-operated Prudhoe Bay field, the Slope’s largest, which averaged 246,265 bpd in June, down 23,395 bpd, 8.7%, from a May average of 269,659 bpd, but up 3.3% from a June 2018 average of 238,442 bpd. The field’s production included an average of 201,073 bpd of crude oil, down 8.5%, 18,618 bpd, from a May average of 219,690, but up 1.3% from a June 2018 average of 198,568 bpd, and an average of 45,192 bpd of NGLs, down 4,777 bpd, 9.6%, from a May average of 49,969, but up 13.3% from a June 2018 average of 39,874 bpd.

In addition to the primary reservoir, production volumes from Prudhoe include Aurora, Borealis, Lisburne, Midnight Sun, Niakuk, Polaris, Point McIntyre, Put River, Raven and Schrader Bluff.

The largest percentage drop was at the ExxonMobil Production-operated Point Thomson field, which averaged 4,823 bpd in June, down 27.7%, 1,845 bpd, from a May average of 6,668, but up 288.3% from a June 2018 average of 1,242 bpd. Point Thomson, the farthest east of North Slope fields, produces condensate from a single well, and production from the field has varied just this year from a high of 9,674 bpd in March to this month’s low.

Other production drops

Northstar, operated by Hilcorp Alaska, averaged 8,457 bpd in June, down 20.6%, 2,199 bpd, from a May average of 10,655 but up 20.9% from a June 2018 average of 6,996 bpd. Northstar production included an average of 6,720 bpd of crude in June, down from a May average of 8,335 bpd but up from a June 2018 average of 6,035 bpd, and 1,737 bpd of NGLs, down from a May average of 2,320, but up from a June 2018 average of 961 bpd.

The Eni-operated Oooguruk field (Eni acquired the field from Caelus in January subject to approvals) averaged 7,611 bpd in June, down 1,682 bpd, 18.1%, from a May average of 9,293, and down 29.3% from a June 2018 average of 10,758 bpd.

The ConocoPhillips Alaska-operated Kuparuk River field averaged 101,878 bpd in June, down 1,001 bpd, 1%, from a May average of 102,879 bpd and down 6% from a June 2018 average of 108,325 bpd. In addition to the main Kuparuk pool, Kuparuk produces from satellites at Meltwater, Tabasco and Tarn, and from West Sak.

ConocoPhillips’ Colville River unit averaged 51,136 bpd in June, down 623 bpd, 1.2%, from a May average of 51,759, and down 18.4% from a June 2018 average of 62,638 bpd. In addition to oil from the main Alpine pool, Colville production includes satellite production from Fiord, Nanuq and Qannik.

The Badami field, operated by Savant Alaska, a Glacier Oil & Gas company, averaged 1,598 bpd in June, down 123 bpd, 7.1%, from a May average of 1,721 bpd, and down 26.7% from a June 2018 average of 2,180 bpd.

Month-over-month increases

Other North Slope fields had production increases.

The Hilcorp-managed Milne Point field had the largest month-over-month per-barrel increase. Milne averaged 29,198 bpd in June, up 12%, 3,136 bpd, from a May average of 26,062 and up 44.1% from a June 2018 average of 20,259 bpd. Hilcorp brought the Moose Pad online at Milne early in April. In that month, there were two wells at the pad which averaged 2,217 bpd; in May, four wells at the pad averaged 3,668 bpd; in June five wells averaged 4,900 bpd, accounting for 17% of Milne Point production.

Eni’s Nikaitchuq field averaged 19,394 bpd in June, up 16.6%, 2,754 bpd, from a May average of 16,640 bpd, and up 1.2% from a June 2018 average of 19,170 bpd.

The Hilcorp-managed Endicott field averaged 7,289 bpd in June, up 3.1%, 219 bpd, from a May average of 7,071 bpd and up 0.6% from a June 2018 average of 7,248 bpd. Endicott averaged 6,512 bpd of crude, up 3.5%, 221 bpd, from a May average of 6,291 bpd and up 0.1% from a June 2018 average of 6,505 bpd, and 777 bpd of NGLs, down 2 bpd, 0.3%, from a May average of 779 bpd and up 4.6% from a June 2018 average of 743 bpd.

ConocoPhillips’ Greater Mooses Tooth in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the North Slope’s newest field, averaged 11,496 bpd in June, up 1.4%, 162 bpd, from a May average of 11,335. The field began production last October and AOGCC records show three wells in production at the field.

Cook Inlet

Cook Inlet averaged 13,325 bpd in June, down 3.3%, 454 bpd, from a May average of 13,779 bpd and down 10.7% from a June 2018 average of 14,914. Hilcorp Alaska, which operates the majority of Cook Inlet fields, has various maintenance projects underway, reducing production from some of its facilities in the inlet.

Hilcorp’s Beaver Creek field, the inlet’s smallest oil field, averaged 345 bpd in June, down 6 bpd, 1.7%, from a May average of 351, but up 415.4% from a June 2018 average of 67 bpd. Hilcorp did a redrill at the field late last year which substantially increased production, which averaged 904 bpd in November.

Hilcorp’s Granite Point field averaged 2,420 bpd in June, down 32 bpd, 1.3%, from a May average of 2,452 bpd and down 15% from a June 2018 average of 2,848 bpd.

BlueCrest’s Hansen field, the Cosmopolitan project, averaged 1,469 bpd in June, down 14.2%, 244 bpd, from a May average of 1,713, but up 83.4% from a June 2018 average of 801 bpd. The company had two wells in production in June 2018 and five wells in production this June.

Hilcorp’s McArthur River, Cook Inlet’s largest field, averaged 4,628 bpd in June, down 4.3%, 206 bpd, from a May average of 4,834, and down 6.9% from a June 2018 average of 4,973 bpd.

Hilcorp’s Middle Ground Shoal averaged 1,302 bpd in June, up 653% from a May average of 173 bpd (plans of development for the field indicate maintenance work at the A and C platforms from which the field produces) and up 35.2% from a June 2018 average of 963 bpd.

Redoubt Shoal, operated by Cook Inlet Energy, a Glacier Oil & Gas company, averaged 986 bpd in June, down 17.2%, 205 bpd, from a May average of 1,191, and down 17.2% from a June 2018 average of 1,260 bpd.

Hilcorp’s Swanson River field averaged 963 bpd in June, down 7.8%, 81 bpd, from a May average of 1,044 bpd and down 33.6% from a June 2018 average of 1,450 bpd.

Hilcorp’s Trading Bay field averaged 710 bpd in June, down 51.6%, 758 bpd, from a May average of 1,469 bpd and down 54.6% from a June 2018 average of 1,565 bpd.

West McArthur River, operated by Glacier’s Cook Inlet Energy, averaged 501 bpd in June, down 9.4%, 52 bpd, from a May average of 553 and down 49.2% from a June 2018 average of 987 bpd.

ANS crude oil production peaked in 1988 at 2.1 million bpd; Cook Inlet crude oil production peaked in 1970 at more than 227,000 bpd.

- KRISTEN NELSON






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